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ebrsa

Axpert 5Kw Switching On Delay

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1 hour ago, pilotfish said:

.

By "grid' i assume you mean generator as I was under the impression that you are off-grid. If I am correct could you not change [Menu 16 = CUT], so that when you run the gennie it uses only the gennie as charge source and not solar, then when you reach about 90% SOC you shut off the gennie and continue on solar/battery only?

I have made the above changes

1 hour ago, pilotfish said:

The above might be garbage as I have never worked with Pylontech batteries, and I dont know if you would have access to a control output at 90% SOC (BMV still in operation?)

I am able to in a very rudimentary fashion interrogate the  Pylontech BMS and I still have access to the BMV.  I have had a strike (some staff are dissatisfied that other staff are AWOL) - so they all decided not to come to work so have not had my usual hour or so of tinkering. 

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11 hours ago, pilotfish said:

[Error 08] = [bus voltage too high] - is it possible that the Pylontech BMS protection is kicking in and disconnecting the charge input to the battery which causes a voltage surge in the Axpert as the charge current suddenly has "nowhere to go"? I guess it would be similar to dropping the battery CB.

Yup, see this a lot on planet blue. BMS kicks out at 54V and the DC bus becomes a gas balloon with no sandbags holding it down. Thankfully we don't blow capacitors and FETs at slightly elevated voltages :-P

I am now of the opinion that Pylontech batteries should be held at a slightly lower voltage than the advertised 53.2V. I have it on good authority that 51.8V equates to 95% SoC, so 52V would be 96%, 52.4V would put you at around 97%, 52.6V would be around 98%. It's also beneficial to the longevity of the battery to hold it slightly lower. The important thing is to be higher than the voltage where the balancers starts working.

LFP batteries are tricky little buggers. It seems that at some point they become super-charged if you can call it that. Systems that works perfectly for the first week suddenly shows weirdness in week two (because finally all the little imbalances and things have been worked out).

I've run a test with a trippy LG Resu at 0.4V less than the BMS asks for. So far the results are very promising, and it comes down to a compromise of 1% SoC.

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Posted (edited)

@Chris Hobson with Aussie 73.00c firmware setting 16 CUT became UTI. I have set mine at SOL which is solar before utility. To test what happens with solar and grid charging, I change this to SNU. Of course setting 01 has to be set at UTI or the Axpert won't charge from grid, or genset in your case. Usually setting 01 is set to SBU, solar before grid, when the sun is shining as this is what ICC sets it to when in solar/battery mode. When I manually switch to grid, either with ICC or on the inverter, setting 01 is changed to UTI. Within seconds error code 08 is displayed and the Axpert shuts down. Perhaps if you keep the gennie running with 01 set to SBU, 16 set to SNU and then manually change 01 to UTI you could see if the same happens to you. This is assuming you have 73.00 Aussie firmware installed and your labour troubles allow the time. But it would at least show whether 08 is perhaps caused by any of the component failures described by @Coulomb earlier in this thread.

To complicate matters further, it seems that Voltronics no longer manufacture the 5Kva/4Kw MKS Axperts but the 5Kva/5Kw MKS Axpert in its place. That is fine if you have a single inverter but a problem if two or more in parallel. If my Axpert cannot be repaired at a sensible cost, I will have to replace the two parallel setup with one MKS 5Kva/5Kw which will just have to do. Clearly units in parallel become a major issue if the manufacturer stops making the units you have and one fails. It will also require some rewiring of outlets in the house directly to the grid supply to avoid overloading the inverter. Still changing over to Blue Equipment will be just too costly.

Edited by ebrsa

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2 minutes ago, ebrsa said:

Still changing over to Blue Equipment will be just too costly.

An interesting sum to do, would be to look retrospectively whether the cost of a 10kva Quattro (probably around 50k back in the day) plus a good MPPT (another 10k) would have been less that 4 Voltronics over the same time period. I'm not fully up to date on pricing but my gut feeling is you'd be about even.

5 minutes ago, ebrsa said:

manufacture the 5Kva/4Kw MKS Axperts but the 5Kva/5Kw MKS Axpert in its place

Yup, 4048 vs 5048 if I recall. But didn't someone on this forum manage to parallel them? I think there was some caveats but I cannot remember. The upgrade was to the boost stage of the inverter and not the actual inverter/final stage. The final stage of these units are still identical.

7 minutes ago, ebrsa said:

Clearly units in parallel become a major issue if the manufacturer stops making the units you have and one fails.

Price of progress I assume. In 2014 (ish) Victron improved some of their smaller inverters. The Compacts got "sub-second switching". Which was really nice, except it introduced caveats with paralleling: The older slower inverter must be the master. Can't drag legacy around forever unfortunately :-)

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42 minutes ago, plonkster said:

An interesting sum to do, would be to look retrospectively whether the cost of a 10kva Quattro (probably around 50k back in the day) plus a good MPPT (another 10k) would have been less that 4 Voltronics over the same time period. I'm not fully up to date on pricing but my gut feeling is you'd be about even.

4 Voltronics = R40k so we have still 20k to play with.

1 hour ago, ebrsa said:

To complicate matters further, it seems that Voltronics no longer manufacture the 5Kva/4Kw MKS Axperts but the 5Kva/5Kw MKS Axpert in its place. That is fine if you have a single inverter but a problem if two or more in parallel. If my Axpert cannot be repaired at a sensible cost, I will have to replace the two parallel setup with one MKS 5Kva/5Kw which will just have to do. Clearly units in parallel become a major issue if the manufacturer stops making the units you have and one fails. It will also require some rewiring of outlets in the house directly to the grid supply to avoid overloading the inverter. Still changing over to Blue Equipment will be just too costly.

Hi Ed 

Keep an eye out on gumtree etc. I bought a secondhand Axpert 4048 (one with external heatsink for the MPPT) for R5k.

 

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@plonkster just for comparison, my 2 Axperts with 2 parallel kits came in at R17,552, admittedly because a dealer friend supplied me at cost but the figure includes VAT which was still 14% at the time. @Mike installed and commissioned the system at the beginning of September 2016 and it ran flawlessly ever since. This gave me 8Kw output, mains and MPPT chargers and the inverter component, all included in the of the Axperts units. I have no idea what Victron equipment I could have expected to purchase for such an amount if any. But there is no doubt that Victron makes superior stuff as you find them on sailing yachts where the environment is very harsh and support often an ocean away. Perhaps I will be fortunate and the repair will be reasonable and hopefully no further faults will occur. But nothing man made is ever 100% reliable.

Thanks a lot for your advice Chris. But first prize will be if I never have to make use of it.

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1 hour ago, ebrsa said:

my 2 Axperts with 2 parallel kits came in at R17,552

Thanks for that info. I was working on the pricing I remember, which was around 12k or so per unit (5kva) and around 7k for the smaller 3kva, but clearly I was a bit off :-) Of course the prices came down a bit as well over the years.

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11 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

Keep an eye out on gumtree etc. I bought a secondhand Axpert 4048 (one with external heatsink for the MPPT) for R5k.

 

I think you got a steal there @Chris Hobson

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Posted (edited)

@plonkster

Multiplus 5000va (10 000w) peak, R21 819.00 exc VAT from Current Automation.

MPPT controller: 150/45TR or 150/60TR - seems to be R4731.00 ex VAT.
150/35 at R 3269.00 exc VAT.

MultiGrid 48/3000/35-50 - R19 299 ex VAT - now that makes sense?

So shopping or asking Camel ... maybe less.

Then there is also Gumtree etc, for 2nd hand - that still may be under the 5 year warranty. 

You know what, here is the price list I got.

VICTRON-2018.pdf

Edited by The Terrible Triplett

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7 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Multiplus 5000va (10 000w) peak, R21 819.00 exc VAT from Current Automation.

The challenge was to do it with the prices of 5-10 years ago, and since the Axies have pretty good peak capabilities too you have to put in a 10kva unit to match the two used in parallel here.

You're not completely wrong though :-) The Multi is a true Hybrid. You probably don't need a 10kva. Those times when 5kva isn't enough.

It's just about impossible to do an apples and apples on this one. Make no mistake, I'd still take the blue one... :-)

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12 minutes ago, Chris Louw said:

Sounds like the Hippo advert  my boyfriend never gets lost

His car had a bigger engine too!

Yeah, there are comparison dos and comparison don'ts as the ad says. I was curious how the numbers stacked up and now I know. Not quite in our favour in a purely financial sense yet (aka a single comparison) :-)

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2 hours ago, plonkster said:

It's just about impossible to do an apples and apples on this one.
I was curious how the numbers stacked up ...

It is not about apples for apples, or Hippo's ... that ship has sailed long ago and with all its passengers (like you and me) on board.

I'm just thinking that maybe for some Axpert users things may have changed, whilst others are still 100% happy.

So I thought, TTT,  share them new prices, give a blink into other options like say Multi's?

Not 10kva systems, we have trashed that out to infinitude. The high peaks are a bother, forces bigger and / or more inverters = more parts = more potential failures, yet we all revert back to Eskom to save batteries at night, the big systems stand more than half the day doing nothing.

And in a 10kave setup, if one model goes off the market ... you may end up replacing 2 inverters. We never thought of that happening.

We all know the constant 24/7 low loads (<300) and the daily averages of wot < 1000w, is where the real costs savings are. And geysers at 2000w, managed on a smaller system, works lekker. 

So MAX 5000, or 3000, with peaks right back to Eskom.

As I maintain, you don't save boiling a kettle, using the microwave, or stove, on solar. That only forced you to buy bigger inverterS, you are not saving in my opinion.

Even more so if you can have a smaller battery bank, for the odd power failure, with option to increase the bank if need be, because your controller allows that, or just replace it later.

Even better is grid tied, if that sails your boat. I just have an issue with the regs, fees and potential taxes see.

Yes they pulled back on the "solar tax" ... in my opinion, they just tested the water, saw who is where and what they must do to get it passed next time.

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Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

It is not about apples for apples

For me it was, when I asked the question :-) The question in my mind is "would you have been better off if you rather ... (fill in the dots)". The answer in this instance is no. Financially he would not have been better off. He may have been better off in other respects, without doubt.

But I think talking about that on a thread where hardware is failing... well that feels to me like that time someone had cancer and some random facebook commentator said "if only you had used this magic mineral supplement"... it may be true* , but you're still an ass for saying it :-) I don't want to be an ass today. Maybe tomorrow... :-D

Now we can ask whether it is a good idea to toss the second Axpert and get a 5kva Multi now... that would be a good debate to have elsewhere, but recalling what @ebrsa has said in the past about his age, I suspect a Multi might outlive his owner in this case :-P

* The particular thread I recall had to do with MMS, miracle mineral supplement. It's complete BS of course, which made it so much worse when this commentator jumped on and implied that this other person might have avoided the cancer "if only...". But one particular trick that is useful in a debate is to check whether a concession to the truth of such a point even hurts your argument at all. If it doesn't, concede it for the sake of argument and get on with it :-)

Edited by plonkster

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So the revisit to the Axpert/Victron debate has me thinking. I am about to parallel two Axperts. I plan to have about 4.5kW of panels. If I have two arrays then will need two armored cables two combiner boxes. How about adding an independent SCC. The Pylontech's ability to accept 50+ Amps causes the advantage of the Axpert's Solar Power Balance to fall away. I could add a Victron SCC and the paralleled Axpert and have less work to do. I have a five string combiner box and only use four of the connections. So add two strings (750W each) and parallel their output using Y connectors and inline fuses. This combined output goes to the last open slot on the combiner box with a 25A fuse rather than 12 Amp fuse and I don't have to drill a second hole through our massive walls (roughly 500mm). Same SPD, same armored cable (25mm2). Losses should be just under two percent (± 70V and 54 A).

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1 minute ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

@Chris Hobson Question, why not go for higher volts = less losses, on the separate controller?

I could possibly the 70V is from experience the voltage my array drops to under high load. Currently I have a 3S4P array I was aiming at a temperature compensated VOCmax  < 145V. The 150V Victron SCC parameters are much the same as the Axpert. The Victron 250V units price is enough for me to want to slit my wrists.

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I don't need to go as high as 600V (I can) but if I want to raise my array voltage (always a good idea) from my envisaged 3s6p  the next stop would be 6s3p and a 250V SCC would be ideal but in as much you would never soil your home with a Voltronic product I would not fork over R10k+ for a SCC. If I was going to 600V I would have just one string and be done with it.

What is the cost on the Morningstar?

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3 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

I could possibly the 70V is from experience the voltage my array drops to under high load. Currently I have a 3S4P array I was aiming at a temperature compensated VOCmax  < 145V. The 150V Victron SCC parameters are much the same as the Axpert. The Victron 250V units price is enough for me to want to slit my wrists.

The Victron SmartSolar 250/85 I see in the pricelist TTT linked is R8938 excl VAT

Definitely not cheap but I think it will last you ages and simplify your life.

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1 hour ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

And you complain about Victron ... :D

That's the funny part. Outback, Schneider, MLT, Microcare, Goodwe. They are all significantly more expensive than everyone's darling, some of them even more expensive than Victron. This debate we're always having isn't A vs V. It's A vs EE (everyone else) :-P

47 minutes ago, PJJ said:

The Victron SmartSolar 250/85 I see in the pricelist TTT linked is R8938 excl VAT

I paid 9.2k VAT inc for my 150/70, 5 years ago. Given that the exchange rate slipped another R2 on the Euro since then, this is not a bad price.

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1 hour ago, PJJ said:

The Victron SmartSolar 250/85 I see in the pricelist TTT linked is R8938 excl VAT

Definitely not cheap but I think it will last you ages and simplify your life.

My thinking was

Armored cable ± R 1000

2nd combiner box ± R1800 

Now if I deduct R 3000 from a Victron 150/60 then all of a sudden it is not too expensive. If I do the same exercise with a 250V unit my head hurts.

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4 hours ago, Chris Hobson said:

If I do the same exercise with a 250V unit my head hurts.

I get that, I do.

Here is my thinking. Put the price aside for the sake of a a few thoughts that cost nothing. :-) 

Does the 250v make a good idea a better idea, versus armored cables and another combiner box?
Will the 250v make life simpler, giving you more leeway to move things in the future, versus what you currently have?
Does the 250v add any more benefits to your new battery bank?

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